Borrowing Bicycles

April 18, 2011

I remember the days when gas was $0.96 cents a gallon - and I am only 32. I didn’t start driving until I was 16 years old, so in the past 16 years gas prices have increased around $3.00 dollars or more per gallon.

Normally I don’t get worked up about price increases, tax increases, and overall cost of living, but lately it seems that any excuse will do to raise prices. One week I put gas in my car on Sunday for $3.58 per gallon. By Tuesday of the same week, prices had risen at another gas station to $3.85. Remember the good old days in 2009 when a gallon of regular gas was $2.35? I think I will invest in a bicycle.

Realizing that the cost of living goes up at a natural pace, I decided to do a little digging. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 16 years ago, in 1995, white bread was $0.85 a loaf, ground chuck was $1.85 per pound, and a dozen eggs was $1.16. As for 2009, the most recent year there is data available, white bread was $1.39, ground chuck was $2.19 per pound, and a dozen eggs was $1.77. Those numbers might not seem too significant, but thankfully they are better than 2008 when white bread was $1.42, ground chuck was $2.41, and a dozen eggs was $1.83. It seems as though perhaps the economy is improving.

Regular gas prices did the same spike and drop between 2008 and 2009. In 2008, the price for a gallon of regular gasoline averaged $3.27 and premium rang in at $3.52. The difference between those numbers and 2009 was a decrease of $0.92 and $0.91 respectively.

What does it all mean? Not much really. The numbers and prices of food and commodities have gone up and down for the past 100 years. Likely they will go up and down for the next 100 years. Well, we can at least hope they go down. In the meantime, it is important to guard your bottom line, continue to operate in a conservative mode, and don’t get caught splurging on an SUV when a compact car will do. Otherwise, you just might have to borrow my bicycle.